My small embroidered cushions always draw attention when seen at exhibitions and fairs, and are one of my most popular items. The texture of the embroidery is what most excites people, and the embellishment of the linen with thread is a wonderful combination giving that texture, as well as colour, pattern and a reflective quality.
I am often asked about the embroidery, and how it is done. I do the embroidery with a digital embroidery machine, one in which I design the embroidery motifs, these then are translated to the machine and the machine then gets on with the job on its own, stitching the patterns onto the fabric (usually while I sit there mesmerised by the process, it’s very meditative! Although the whole idea is for me to be getting on with something else!).
I have several reasons for using a digital machine rather than free machining on a normal sewing machine. Firstly I actually love the texture of the stitch that the digital machine produces, its thick and raised from the fabric, with a wonderfully solid feel. I really don’t think I could get such a stitch quality as this personally if I was to embroider it myself on my sewing machine. The stitch also feels very durable, which is obviously advantageous for my cushions and their longevity, as well as the factor of time and economics. A shorter time in production is reflected in cushion prices, so that is also a big consideration.
So although I get a vast amount of pleasure free hand machining (where I manoeuvre the fabric myself under the sewing machine and ‘draw’ with the thread) I feel that using a digital machine for my cushions is the right course of action in this instant as I just love the stitch that the machine produces, and its quicker. I get very excited when I sit and watch the embroidery process, and see the floral patterns emerge with thread, it never ceases to thrill me!
Presently I have two embroidered designs on my shop page, and more will be added in time, do take a look 🙂
I am currently gearing up for my next fair, which is to be ‘Best of Britannia’ . It is held at Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, Holborn, London and it takes place from the 30th September till the 2nd October.
I’m very excited to be a part of it, and feel honoured that they found me and thought me appropriate for this fabulous celebration of British brands 🙂
Best of Britannia is where you will find unique British made products from over 150 brands. You will find clothing, footwear, accessories, jewellery, cycling, motoring, home furnishing, foods and much more…..sounds like quite an eclectic mix to me!!
And of course, look out for my cushions and myself on Stand 5! But just to mention, the first day, the 30th Sept is for trade and then the weekend days are retail to public.
A photograph received from my brother last week has prompted me to write this latest post. It is of my father John Bury, and the photograph was apparently taken for Tattler Magazine in 1961.
So I thought that seeing as my dad had had such an interesting career, I would share a little bit of it here.
John Bury was a set, costume and lighting designer. He was born in 1925, and commenced his career in the theatre in the 1950’s when he started work with Joan Littlewoods Theatre Workshop. Subsequently he went on to become Head of Design for the Royal Shakespeare Company and for the National Theatre, from 1973 to 1985. He also created sets for the Royal Opera house and Glyndebourne. He worked closely with Peter Hall for most of this career.
In 1981 my father won two Tony awards for best set design and best lighting for the Broadways production of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus, although he was nominated for best costume design too! He received an OBE in 1979. I remember as a young girl of 9 going to Buckingham Palace with the family and watching him receive his metal from the Queen mum.
He died in 2000, and so it was such a thrill to see this early photograph of him, one that I hadn’t even seen before. He must have been aged 36, so it was taken before I was born which wasn’t until 1970; it is such a fabulous photo of him as he was starting out on such an amazing career.
My brothers and I had an interesting childhood too, there was a lot of travel! Memorably we spent time in Sydney where my parents (my mother helped my father) put on operas at the Sydney Opera House, we also had a fantastic time in Santa Fe where again they put on an opera at the opera house there. We also spent a lot of our childhood down at Glyndebourne. I must admit I did not take much notice of it all as a child, but I have grown to feel very proud of what my parents have achieved!
One of the very exciting outcomes that came from attending the Top Drawer trade show last January was that I found a stockist in Zurich! Well, they found me actually, but the fact that my cushions are for sale in such a magnificent city is wonderful and now with a second order sent off I am happy to know that they really are selling!
I was also amazed and delighted when a friend of mine just happened to be in Zurich and spotted my cushions in the window of the stockist – Ethik Kusst Asthetik Changemaker! She sent back this photograph for me and there they are, 6 of my cushions sitting in the window! Very pleasing indeed.
Stand B64, come and say hello 🙂
Wow! Look how good this looks! And you too can have a chair like this as all my fabrics designs are available to buy by the metre. I was so pleased to see these photos; they were sent by a lovely customer, Nina, who bought two and a half metres of Floral Bouquet Dark on oatmeal linen and upholstered this chair with it. I think you’ll agree, the result is pretty stunning. Nina wrote “thank you so much for the beautiful and very unusual fabric!” Much obliged Nina!
I will happily send out samples of the fabrics 🙂
Available now! A5 notebooks, beautifully covered in various sections of my floral fabrics, complete with elastic closure and page-mark ribbon. They can be bought in the website shop, but as they are all so very different you will probably have to contact me with details of your favourite bits of designs, and I’ll see if there is a notebook that fits the bill! But they have turned out very well, and they feel lovely too, so take a look in the shop and see if one takes your fancy. They are £19.00 each.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I had been given some Jordanian fabric from Mint Gallery in Kensington with a view to designing and producing some cushions; as many as I could out of the fabric.
I deliberated a long time over this project! I did some samples with some similar weight linen, and pondered…… then the deadline loomed and I definitely had to get going on them! The only criteria I was really given was to let the selvedges be shown and to do a certain sized cushion, other than that it was pretty free as to what I could do.
My initial thoughts were to do something flowery, after all this is what Mint, and most people know me for. But my initial samples didn’t inspire me, so then I thought a little bit more geometrically, and this sparked my imagination more.
In the end I did two cushions that were frayed, two cushions that were frayed and embroidered and two that were embroidered. Inspiration for the fraying came from the two ends of the fabric that was given to me, they had frayed beautifully and these ends did end up in the designs. The embroidery designs developed from doing a little research into Middle Eastern embroidery, I also wanted it to look simple and contemporary. The embroidery was done by a couching method, whereby the thicker thread is put on the bobbin and then the design is worked form the back on a sewing machine.
In the end I thoroughly enjoyed the process of making these cushions. It was definitely a challenge and it took me somewhat out of my comfort zone, but that can only be a good thing, and the results are very beautiful I think…..though I say so myself!
The cushions are in Mint Gallery now as part of their latest exhibition ‘Spring Forms’, and Mint is always well worth a visit.
A little while ago I was asked to publish my story In The Window. In The Window™ (thewindow.com) is an immersive social platform for design storytelling and curation. They enable designers and brands to share their stories and work, via visually rich ‘windows’, with a global community of design professionals and enthusiasts. The community can discover, curate, and share the content.
The site is fabulous, and I recommend that that you have a browse through it, there are so many talented designers and brands on there so check it out!!
My Window is here. It was so lovely to be asked and also it’s a great discovery!
It’s been a month of signing up for fairs, and I’m so looking forward to my first one this summer – The Sprit of Summer fair. In association with House and Garden, it returns to Olympia, London, on the 22nd – 25th June, and I am delighted to be a part of it this year. Come and visit me at stand B64, and visit here for my page on the Spirit of Summer website.
I’ve also agreed to do Best of Britannia, which is a showcase for British design and product….but that’s not until late September/ early October, so more on that nearer the time. But it does look a really fun fair with an eclectic mix of British brands.
Lastly I’ve signed up for Top drawer again in January, but that’s next year, I’ll leave it at that for now!
I’ll hopefully have some Spirit of Summer tickets to give away shortly, so watch out for a little competition 🙂